RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend, Discover and Make-A-Wish® surprised eight-year-old Zach Cezar of Snoqualmie, Washington, whose wish is to attend the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game, with news that he will receive the ultimate NHL® All-Star Weekend fan experience.
Zach will be the official “Stick Kid” of the 2017 Coors Light NHL All-Star Skills Competition™. He will receive an exclusive “Stick Kid” jersey and helmet when he arrives in Los Angeles. As part of the package, Zach gets a sneak peek at the locker rooms, will hang out on the players’ bench at the 2017 Coors Light NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ on Saturday, and attend the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game with his family on Sunday.
Zach was surprised with the news of his wish after hockey practice with his teammates this evening in Renton, Washington. The surprise was extra-special for Zach, who had to take a break from playing hockey while undergoing cancer treatment, but always had the support of his teammates to help him through.
“At first, I wanted to quit hockey as I didn’t think I’d play well when I was sick,” said Zach. “But I didn’t quit because I would miss my team. My favorite part of hockey is being on my team.”
Through its sponsorship of the NHL and long-term relationship with Make-A-Wish, which includes nearly $18 million donated by Discover cardmembers to Make-A-Wish through Discover’s Cashback Bonus® program, Discover was thrilled to help bring today’s events to fruition.
“For 27 years, the generosity Discover cardmembers have shown through donations to Make-A-Wish has provided hundreds of opportunities for us to help grant wishes to children like Zach. Every wish granted is equally heartwarming and we’re grateful that our relationship with the NHL will provide Zach and his family the experience of a lifetime at the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game,” said Matt Towson, director of community affairs at Discover.
As part of the surprise, Discover donated $50,000 to Make-A-Wish on behalf of Zach and his family.
“Zach’s wish demonstrates the ability for community partners to take a wish request and transform it into a truly unforgettable experience,” said David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “With the help of Discover and the NHL, Zach and his family’s time at the NHL® All-Star Weekend will serve as an ongoing source of positivity and joy.”
Discover is an official partner of the NHL, and its commitment to the NHL provides opportunities to engage with U.S. hockey fans nationwide and develop exclusive hockey-themed rewards and experiences across special NHL events, including the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game. Discover cardmembers also receive an exclusive discount when shopping on Shop.NHL.com and at Official NHL All-Star retail locations in Los Angeles.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discover.com/company.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 28,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 35 minutes. It has granted more than 270,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,800 in 2015 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.
About the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend
The Los Angeles Kings, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary, and the city of Los Angeles will play host to the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend. The festivities begin with the opening of the 2017 NHL Fan Fair™, including the NHL® Centennial Fan Arena, on Thursday, Jan. 26; continue with the celebration of the 100 Greatest NHL Players at THE NHL100 on Friday, Jan. 27 (6:30 p.m. PT / 9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVAS) and the 2017 Coors Light NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ on Saturday, Jan. 28 (4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS); and conclude with the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29 (12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). Visit NHL.com/AllStar for more information.